Green Allies in the Garden

How sweet to enter my new garden, beautifully designed by my husband, to find my favorite green allies and native

New Garden at Flying Cactus
New Garden at Flying Cactus
friends waiting for me in group right in the center of the growing space. We had mulched heavily at the beginning of the winter in hopes of smothering some of the grass and noxious weeds and also to enrich the soil and provide a haven for beneficial insect and microscopic critters.

And right there in the center of all that mulch my friends chickweed (Stellaria media) and cleavers (Galium aparine) and henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) were offering me a joyous spring blessing.  Medicinal allies chickweed and cleavers are fading in the early spring heat (following lows in the 20s last week when snow storms ventured as far south as Atlanta, we are now experiencing temperatures of 80 degrees plus).

My Garden Allies
My Garden Allies
They will be with me over the summer in the forms of tinctures and vinegars until their sisters show up again in the late fall. Meanwhile henbit will continue to show up hither and yon throughout the spring and into the early summer.

Henbit and Chickweed
Henbit and Chickweed
This mint family ally does not have a striking traditional use, but henbit’s cousin archangel (L. album) also known as dead white nettle, can be boiled as a vegetable, used in soups, and added to salads. Use the tender young leaves, the shoots, or the flowers. A decoction of the flowering plant is used as a blood tonic and it purportedly constricts blood vessels and treats hemorrhoids and burns. Make an infusion for an astringent wash for eczema or to use as a vulnerary.


One Response

  1. Hi, Ellie! How nice to see your lovely website! I’m going to send the link to a few other people. I love it, but I think you should include more pictures of you–maybe working in your garden!
    Birthday greetings to you, my dear–
    To help you celebrate, please check out the new video of my song Everybody’s Somebody’s Child, at my website, posted above.

    Posted on October 21st, 2009 at 3:55 pm

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